Journalist discusses Afghanistan-Pakistan situation

04/08/09 Mitch E. Perry
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Intelligence officials in Pakistan say two alleged militants and a civilian have been killed in a suspected U.S. missile strike.

It happened in the tribal region of northwestern Pakistan, according to officials citing informants and agents in the field. They say a drone came under fire from people in a car. The missile hit the car and also damaged some shops, wounding at least five villagers and killing one.

It comes a day after the New York Times reports that the U.S. Special Envoy to the region, Richard Holbrooke, and the joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen came under public criticism from Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, who said that trust between the countries was in question, particularly over the issue of such missile attacks in Pakistan’s tribal areas.

The Times also reports that in another sign of new strains in the relationship, the head of Pakistan’s Intelligence Service refused to meet separately with the two Americans who had requested a meeting.

Steve Coll is a reporter with the New Yorker magazine, and has covered Afghanistan and Pakistan extensively over the years. He spoke to us today about the issue of trust as the U.S. tries new steps under the Obama administration to effectively get at Taliban elements in the region.

Coll's latest book, The Bin Ladems: An Arabian Family in the 20th Century, has just been published in paperback.

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